What Does a Good Health and Safety Policy Look Like?
All companies are required to have a health and safety policy, which outlines all of the procedures that must be followed within the workplace. A risk assessment is undertaken in order to identify the risks present in the workplace and the health and safety policy is created in accordance with the findings of this risk assessment.
The important document informs all staff and others of the commitment to health and safety and will describe how your company plans to monitor and implement safety controls. If you have five or more employees in your business, you should have a written health and safety policy. It should be followed and reviewed regularly by you and your staff.
Occupational health and safety training courses will instruct you on how to carry out a risk assessment and develop your health and safety policy.
What are the Features of a Good Health and Safety Policy?
Your health and safety policy should have the following features:
It should be Unique to Your Business
It is not a general document that fits all businesses; it is specific to the hazards that are found in your workplace. It is important to think about the hazards that the business faces, so that you can determine the best way to avoid those specific risks. For example, if you handle hazardous materials or you work at heights, these are specific concerns that need to be addressed within your unique health and safety policy.
The Health and Safety Policy Should Outline an Escape Route
If the building needed to be evacuated, would everyone in your workplace know what to do? If so the document needs to outline the escape route to safety as well as provide details about firefighting equipment, fire resistant doors, fire alarms and other safety equipment.
It Should Specify Who is Responsible for What
Your company safety policy should also include information about which employees or managers are responsible for different tasks, as well as how and when they should do these tasks. For example, if there was a fire in the building who would be responsible for organising the evacuation and ensuring that everyone is accounted for at the safe point outside? If no one knows who is responsible for what, this can cause chaos and confusion in an emergency and can result in important tasks not being taken care of.
It Should Outline How to Record Accidents
If a workplace accident does occur, it is important to record as much information as possible about the accident. This will help to understand what went wrong so that the accident can be prevented in the future. The health and safety policy should outline the details of how to record this information.
It Should be Understood and Accessible to All
It’s no good if your employees cannot understand it or access it. Make sure that your health and safety policy is written in a clear and easy to comprehend way and that a copy of it is always available for employees to read. If you have employees with disabilities, such as visual impairment, an alternate form of the company policy should be in place so that they are able to read or listen to. Also, if your employees do not speak English, a translation might be necessary to make sure that they understand.
It’s a very important document, so make sure that it is thorough, in depth and available to all.
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